Ink or Pierce? Decisions, decisions…

I’m getting restless again. It’s only four months since my last tattoo and I want something else done already.

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I haven’t yet decided whether it will be another tattoo or a piercing this time, so I’m open to suggestions at this point.

Naturally, if I plump for the ink, there will be a continuation of the cat theme, which features in all six of the existing designs. My very first tat, the small outline of a cat in my lower back (that’s the ‘tramp stamp’ to most of you!), is now looking a little lonely all by itself, and it’s nowhere near as intricate as the others, so I think it would be great to have it embellished and expanded into something more artistic.

Alternatively, I could go for another piercing. I’ve had some great information about the fabled (and in my opinion, incredibly sexy) VCH (read more here) but I am also considering another pair of ear piercings. I have four each side already, so it would be nice to build them up a little more.

Anyway, all this research got me thinking. Body art and modifications are more and more popular and mainstream now than ever before. Why is it that we choose to bejewel and adorn ourselves in such a way?

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The history of tattooing goes back to Neolithic times. A mummy was unearthed in South America who bore ink marks on the upper lip. The remains were dated to around 6000 BC (see here), so this is nothing new. However, until relatively recently, it was largely recognised as having prominence only in primitive tribal cultures.

In Western civilisations, it was largely used to distinguish those who had spent time in prison or been at war. There are records of soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War receiving tattoos.

Not until the 1970s did it become part of mainstream fashion in the West, often led by prominent artists in popular culture. The likes of Janis Joplin (who famously had a small heart inked onto her left breast) helped in shifting tattoos from something which marked someone out as an outcast, to being an acceptable form of self-expression.

Piercing, too, has had a colourful past. Apparently, there are references in the Kama Sutra to a piercing in the penis to enhance sexual enjoyment. (Who knew?!)

People choose to get tattoos and/or piercings for all sorts of reasons:

  • Identification – they want something meaningful to them, for example their Zodiac sign, or a favourite pattern or photo;
  • To honour loved ones – children’s names are often used, or a visual representation of something which reminds them of a deceased loved one;
  • Style, fashion statement – celtic bands, large flower patterns, angels, or whatever, these trends are constantly changing;
  • Prison/gang membership – still used, apparently, although I have no first-hand experience of this!
  • Other – tattoos can be a very effective way of covering scar tissue following surgery or an accident, improving body confidence in many cases.

For me, my tattoos and piercings are all very personal. Each one marks an event or person which has had a profound effect on my journey through this mortal plane of existence and I like to remember them.

So, who’s ready to share their photos of your ink? I’d really love to see them!

Ireland says “YES!” to Gay Pride

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Regular followers of this blog and of my Facebook page will know that I have a great passion for gay rights.

Imagine my delight, then, when my recent visit to Dublin happened to coincide with Gay Pride 2015.

IMG_0809There we were, attending our workshops in Parnell Square with all the diligence of brand new students, when the music started up and people started to arrive in the street below.

It was still 11am at this point, and I was finding it really difficult to concentrate on my studies, while tapping my toe to the pumping rhythms pouring through the open windows.

However, we managed to make it until our lunch break at 12.30, and a few of us escaped outside to watch the revellers (in their thousands by now) gathering to start their parade.

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Dublin Gay Pride 2015, sponsored by Skittles sweets!

Slightly more than half of me wanted desperately to join the march. I saw two girls holding hands, both in wedding dresses, heading up the parade. A proud testimony to the landmark referendum earlier this year, for sure. Just behind them were 26 individuals, each holding a banner for each one of the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. A tear came to my eye; it was a very proud moment.

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A great day for Ireland, for the Gay Rights movement, and for the concept of Equality. Well done guys!

 

Review: High (Indigo Lounge Series #1), Zara Cox

I met this author at a book signing event in March this year and, after a spirited hello, I was drawn to her books and the gorgeous, vibrant shade of purple emblazoned on the covers.

I love purple. It’s been my favourite colour for many years now. It screams at you.

“I’m bold,” it says. “I’m different. Come and grab me.”

So, I did.

From the very first page, it was clear that this is not your average erotic novel. The language employed grabs you, hauls you from your humdrum existence and throws you into this wonderful world where invitations to life-changing events hurl themselves through your letterbox ‘like an exotic jewel in the dust’.

Our protagonist is one Bethany Green. Naive and heartbroken, and with more than a little shove from her best friend Keely, she accepts this invitation and her life is never the same again.

Our hero is also troubled. Zachary Savage has demons of his own to overcome. But, he’s never met a woman quite like Bethany, and she throws his world into turmoil in return.

This is the first in the Indigo Lounge series from Zara Cox. I have the second, also a signed copy, ready and waiting to start as soon as I can…

Review: The Knight Trilogy, Kitty French

I love it when I read something from a fellow erotica author which I become so engrossed in I have to read it in one sitting. This awesome trilogy from Kitty French does all that and gets a huge five stars from me!

I read the first of these books in two sittings actually, but both the second and third in the series I read in one go each. Such delightful writing from Kitty in this series. Allow me to tell you why, for me, they’ll take a good deal of beating.

Sophie Black is our heroine. She’s married, albeit unhappily, so not looking to become involved with anyone. However, she suspects her husband is cheating on her, so when her current boss’s harassment become too much to bear, and with the help of her friend Kara, she decides to look for another job. Enter adult entertainment venue owner and multi-millionaire, Lucien Knight.

From the first moment I was introduced to him, I went weak at the knees. I gotta tell you folks, I was enchanted, bewitched and seduced all in one fell swoop. And, I didn’t mind one little bit. I’m really hoping that men like that grow on trees in Heaven because they sure as hell don’t come easy here on Earth. Trust me, I’m trying (and failing miserably, but that’s another story).

From the moment young Sophie meets Mr Knight at her interview for the position of his PA, she feels exactly the same, and so begins the most wonderful love affair I’ve read so far this year.

Kitty writes with a confident flair and her characters are so real you can almost touch them. Some of that was probably wishful thinking on my part, to be fair. Books two and three in the series did not disappoint at all.

The sex is hot enough to make you turn down your central heating in the midst of a British winter, and the romance fills the air from every single page. The cliffhanger at the end of the first book ensured I was itching to pick up the second and it follows the timeline perfectly.

I also loved how the third book involved Sophie’s friend Kara and the newcomer to the story, Dylan Day – a man desperately trying to escape his past, and for very good reasons it turns out.

All in all, a fantastic read from Kitty French, who I was lucky enough to meet at the Orchard Book Club Signing event in Peterborough the other week. Such a talented lady! I can’t wait to start reading my signed copy of her new novel, Genie…!

Tattoos: Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em..?

There was a time when only sailors and prisoners ever got tattoos. How times have changed!

My wonderful friend Huy Truong is a professional graphic designer. Recently, I commissioned him to come up with a design for a tattoo to celebrate a truly fantastic 2014, my first year as a publisher author. This is what he came up with:

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Kitty tat Design, commissioned by Huy Truong

His remit was very open. I said I wanted something to celebrate my author status. Perhaps a picture of me, maybe, surrounded by a couple of cats and some books. Something like that, I said. I was blown away by his results.

This will be my sixth tattoo. Each of them is cat-related and all mark specific periods or milestones in my life. They are sentimental events I wanted to remember especially and keep a permanent record of them. Separation and divorce, a particularly poignant love affair, and my own little cat’s portrait, they all have their place on my skin.

I love tattoos. Years before I had my first one, at the tender age of 28, I had yearned for one. I think there are a few reasons why.

Firstly, there’s the pain. I like the thought of enduring pain for something beautiful and meaningful. At this point, I feel the need to tell you that I’m not a mother, nor do I have any inclination to become one. I’m sure those of you who have endured the pain of childbirth will all agree that it’s very much worth it, for the children you have brought into this world.

Secondly, I think it’s a great way to exercise freedom of expression and individuality. Tattoos have become very personal items. It’s not uncommon to have them commissioned especially for you, as Huy has done for me. I know this image could be widely copied from the web and used again for someone else’s tattoo, but I also know it was designed personally for me, and with me in mind. That girl does kind of look a little like me, in a good light!

But, you know, there’s another reason why I keep getting tattoos. They are strangely addictive. I shall never forget my first one: a small stylish outline of a cat in the small of my back. The guy finished putting away the needle, sat back to admire his own handiwork, then said, “You know, one will never be enough. You will have more.”

It was a number of year before I went back, but I did. I have now embraced the fact that I shall keep getting them, as long as I have something to commemorate; an event or a milestone that is so important it deserves a permanent brand somewhere about my person. I am celebrating my expression of these moments in my life, that have made me who I am today.

I have a Pinterest board which captures some gorgeous, fantastic images of tattoos and piercings, so feel free to follow me here, and add your own if you like.

In the meantime, I shall be having this tattoo done some time early in 2015. Check out my Twitter page for an image soon!

Review: Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz (Books 1-4, The Red Years)

I adore it when books move me. Having to grab a tissue as I reach the end of an erotica book in particular, makes me smile. (For the filthier-minded among you, this is to dab my tears and nothing else, you naughty people!)

Tiffany Reisz goes a good few steps further with her Original Sinners series. These books bring out such raw emotions. It wasn’t one tissue but several, over and over again. After reading the first four books in the series, I have had to take a break to get my breath back. In the New Year, I intend to continue where I left off. Allow me to share with you everything I love about these stories.

The series begins with The Siren, a gorgeous book which had me hooked straight away into the life of the beautiful but somewhat wayward Nora Sutherland. Nora writes erotica, and following problems with her previous editor, she has been assigned a new one, in the shape of one Zachary Easton.

Zach has escaped a failing marriage and hopped over to the US to take up a position as editor. His first assignment is to make something of the tragically flawed Nora, over whom he tries to exert some kind of influence, but soon learns there is one person only from whom she takes orders: her beloved Soren.

Discovering the extreme nature of Soren and Nora’s relationship through Zach’s eyes made it much easier for me to understand this subversive subculture and how, despite the pain and suffering that Soren inflicts upon Nora, she can adore him nonetheless.

In The Angel, we learn more about the young and beautiful Michael, who also harbours a penchant for the subversive. He meets the arrogant but handsome Griffin, who submits only to Nora but dominates everyone else,and so Michael finds his niche and settles into it well.

The Prince follows another character’s journey. This time, it’s the turn of Wesley, the young student who lived as Nora’s lodger for a time. Nora has had fantasies about young Wesley for a good long while, and Soren knows it. He also realises that to win her back, he has to let her go. And go she does, fleeing to Kentucky to be with Wesley.

Finally, the whole story comes to a clattering and shattering conclusion in The Mistress. We learn about the simmering Kingsley, the King of the underworld who has been in the background until this point. And, finally, we learn how much Nora is prepared to give for her love. Will it be her life this time?

Reisz’s writing is glorious effective. The books are a roller coaster of emotion from start to finish. It’s horny, yes, but there’s that wonderful romantic current running right through the middle. This is five star quality erotica, shocking in parts for its graphic content, but I loved it all the same.

National Novel Writing Month 2014 – WINNER!

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Well, folks. I did it!

Despite my demanding day job, a family death and trying to organise a cocktail party for my birthday, I managed to pour over 50,000 words out into some kind of sense.

So, what has been the net result of completing this mammoth writing challenge, you say?

Well, in the short term, a new Fierce & Fabulous book will be ready just in time for Christmas. Get your Kindles charged up! I’m hoping for a release date of around Christmas Eve so watch this space. I tweet a lot about upcoming releases, so the best thing to do is follow me: https://twitter.com/KittyMulholland

Also, I’ve made significant progress with a longer work that has been going round in my head for some time. Becoming Fabulous is a prequel to the collections of short stories. It tells the tale of Leah’s past and how she overcame the sadness and rejection of her painful divorce and entered the fun world of the swinging lifestyle.

So, all in all, a very productive month of November for me. The challenge now will be to maintain some of that momentum throughout the New Year…

In the meantime, allow me to wish you all a wonderfully Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year for 2015.

Much love,

Kitty xx

NaNoWriMo 2014!

Yes, folks! That time of year is upon us.

I’m not talking about trick or treating, pumpkins and fancy dress. No, it’s the anxious run up to National Novel Writing Month.

This will be my first year taking part in this exercise and I’m very excited. There’s an idea for a erotic fantasy trilogy which has been squirming around in my head since Swanwick in August, and it’s time to put pen to page and get it started.

It sounds reasonably straightforward to be honest. The target is 50,000 words between 1st and 30th November. It’s a tall order, though, especially when you factor in my demanding day job which already takes up 45+ hours per week and I’m expecting that to increase over the course of the next few weeks.

So, time is of the essence here. There will be no time for procrastination. I’ve already cancelled any potential social engagements for the entire month and I’m even starting to plan a freezer-ful of ready made leftover dinners to see me through the first couple of weeks.

For the first time, I’m planning to use Scrivener from the get-go, which is a first for me. I normally write my first drafts with pen and paper, but this is way too important for me to do anything other than use this tool. I went to a webinar the other day which had loads of tips and tricks for making it work for me.

So, without further ado, I shall be posting my word counts from time to time throughout the month. Stay tuned to watch my progress…

Review: The Massage, Kitty Fine

I read this story while waiting in a hotel lobby in Rome while a storm passed overhead. Unfortunately, other guests had chosen to do the same, which meant I had to hide my incredible horniness from all of them as well as the reception staff!

This is a powerful story and well written. I love the way Kitty writes in the first person. It makes me feel as if the story is happening to me as I read. And, I was incredibly turned on… Can’t wait to read more from this author!